Gregory Armenian St.
He is so-called "St. Gregory the enlightened" (St. Gregory the illuminator) because He taught about the True Light of the Lord Jesus Christ to the people of the Armenians in a superb way. He is also called "The messenger of Armenia." The Coptic Church names him "A martyr without bloodshed", and is mentioned during the commemoration of the Saints in the Holy Liturgy.
The people of Naples, Italy chose him, in 1636 as the intercessor of their city.
In the view of some scholars he was considered as the real founder of the Church of Armenia, although some felt that it was preceded by others and he played a key role and was able to convert the king to Christianity, making Christianity the official religion of the country, which made Armenia the first country in the world that accepted a Christian king, Therefore, we need to introduce a few lines about the early church in Armenia so that we can trace the life of this saint.
The first Church of Armenia:
Some people think that Christianity began at Armenia on the hands of Saints Bartholomew and Thaddeus in the first century, and others believe that Christianity started in the missionaries in the second century came from Antioch and Persia, but everyone do not ignore the essential role played by St. Gregory the enlightened, who was ordained as the bishop of Armenia by the Archbishop of Caesurae Cappadocthe in 294 AD. He attracted the king, as well as many of the pagans to the Christian faith. He was as well so as the main founder of the diocese at Etchmidzin next to the Mount Orarat. He became the Gatliq, Patriarch, of Armenia, and presented a number of his followers who attained that status. The Archbishop of Caesurae was responsible for the ordination of the priests in Armenia until it became the independent Church of Armenia and separated from the Caesarian church. In 390 AD Armenia was divided between the Byzantines and Persians who shared the empires. During the days of Isaac Gatliq the independence on the Cappadocian’ Caesurae church was completed. A national movement of Armenians began in particular the emergence of a huge movement of translation of the Bible and the registered Greek heritage to the Armenian language. ,
He was born about the year 240 AD in the city Valarhiappat which was the largest city in Armenia, the capital of Orarat, and was a descendant from a royal origin. His father, Parthian, persuaded by some people assassinated the Armenian King, Josrov the first, but he was arrested by soldiers and they killed him. Gregory and his brother were still young kids. Their mistress Sofia managed to escape with them to Cappadocthe in Caesurae (Turkey) where she rose them in a virtuous atmosphere. Gregory lived a virtuous life and he was genius in science and philosophy. Under the pressure of his mistress he married and got two children. Then he agreed with his wife on life of celibacy to devote their energies to worshipping and serving God. His wife joined one of the convents of women.
While Gregory wanted atone for the error of his father, the son of the murdered king. He offered to provide services to the son “Tredath III". He served him faithfully and without bounds. Tredath III proclaimed war against the Sultan Algot and won it. He arrested and handed the Sultan over to the Roman emperor. The emperor rewarded Tredath III by sitting him upon the throne of his father, and made him ruler of the country of Armenia. He returned to his kingdom in 287 AD. Tredath III wanted to make a sacrifice of thanks to the idol gods as he thought that these idols returned to him the kingdom of his father. He asked Gregory to be his representative in offerings to the idols. The latter told him kindly that he was a Christian. So the king ordered torturing Gregory by cruel torments, especially as some of his men told him that the father of Gregory murdered his father. The king tricks in the torture of Gregory were defied as the Lord every time saved and healed him.
The king ordered that boiling bullets should be put in his mouth, and finally threw him into a pit that was deep to die by starvation and thirst. On his way to the pit, in front of the city Friza made the sick and the multitude advanced asking him to pray for them, and God was glorified in him. The governor's wife and son declared there believe in the Christian faith and got the crown of the martyrdom at the hands of the governor himself. The den turned to a sacred place for worshipping God. The blessed Gregory lived a devotional cheerful life amid the outside troubles. GOD had prepared for him an elderly woman who had a vision and heard a voice telling her: "Make bread and throw at the pit," She did so for 14 years. In this important era of emperor Diocletian he adored a girl named "Rebsma", who had vowed celibacy, So she fled to Armenia. The emperor asked King Tredath III to search for her in the monasteries of women, He already found her. As soon as he saw her, he fell in her love. He wanted to marry her but she refused. The left her with two women to try to convince her. But she resisted them and resisted even the governor himself and ran away. He sent executioners behind her who captured and burned her in a flaming fire as well as 32 virgin who were staying with her.
Tredath Roamer in the bush
Trendath III felt intensified grief for loosing Rebsma. He even entered in the case of severe depression. He was no longer able to exercise its work. Some of his men took him out of town on a fishing trip so that he might forget. A spirit of evil came over him. He started biting his body and wrestles all that were around him, and went running about in the bush like a wild pig.
His sister heard about his injury. Having a pure heart, she took over the state and kept crying bitterly for her brother. She saw an apparition of an Angel in the night that told her that her brother will not recover unless Gregory was taken out of the pit. In the morning she told the men of the state, they felt that what she saw was hallucinations due to her concerns as she felt guilt about what happened with Gregory for 14 years, but the vision was repeated four times in the next night. She insisted on the request to send some of the men of the state. They threw a rope in the den to raise the new Daniel out of the pit alive. Saint Gregory was received by a public celebration of for this great father. The sister began to ask the Saint in tears to forgive her and her brother and to pray and ask God for his recovery. GOD Healed Tredath III by the prayers of Saint. Gregory in the Name of Jesus Christ. But there were left some marks on his body, to remind him of his past deeds until the recovery was in full after accepting the Christian faith.
The Saint’s life turned to a work of uninterrupted preaching. He gained many of the Gentiles who converted to the Christian faith. Many churches were built. He did amazing deeds in the Name of Jesus Christ. The Archbishop of Caesurae Cappadocian, Iontios, ordained him as a bishop of Armenia in 294 AD. He ordained many priests for the service and devoted himself to preaching among the Gentiles in the land of Armenia. GOD prolonged his days until the beginning of the rule of Constantine the Great whom he visited accompanied. John to congratulate him.
At the end of his days he tended to the ascetic life. He stayed in a cell at the nearby of a mountain (Mount Manyea). He was invited to attend the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, so he sent his son Aristakes. Aristakes had worked as his deputy at the insistence of the people. He was his successor as Gatliq of Armenia. He spent six years of his life practicing asceticism and meditation. As the moment of his transition (in about AD 330) approached, he entered into the cave huge tree and knelt down to pray asking for his transition. Some shepherds without knowing who was that person buried him. He appeared in a vision to a pious called Karnicos and told him about his body and asked him to transfer his relics to the Trdanos after about 60 years of his departure. The Armenian Church has four memorial days for the Saint: Throwing him in the pit; Getting out of the pit; The Apparition of a heavenly vision to him and the discovery of his holy relics; The Coptic Church has two celebrations: His getting out of the pit; on19 Toot and his departure on 15 Khiak.
May the Blessings of his prayers Be with all of us AMEN.
|Arabic biography source of: Gregory Armenian St.|
|Translated by: Maged (servant of the LORD)||
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